Biostar Racing Z370GT6 Review 9

Biostar Racing Z370GT6 Review

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Introduction

Biostar Logo

So, you got your eye on Intel's shiny new Z370 platform, but not a lot of cash in your wallet? Well, Biostar wants to help you out with its new Racing Z370GT6. Intel's latest chipset, Z370, features new 6-core CPUs with dual-channel memory, and you don't have to shell out for an unlocked "K" chip either with the i5-8400. The Biostar Racing Z370GT6 is ready to get you started. With the price of memory and graphics cards so high, the amount of money a budget builder can throw into other components has shrunk. So what options are available when every dollar counts?

For many consumers, Biostar may be a brand that has flown under the radar. Their typical, though not exclusive, focus on the budget segment of the board market may lead a potential customer to steer clear in favor of what they consider more mainstream manufacturers. That is unfortunate as Biostar has consistently provided excellent build quality and solid performance without a huge price tag. Biostar has been refining this idea through their Racing GT line of motherboards across several platforms and generations, and they are getting pretty good at it.

The key to this formula that has lead Biostar to success is all about selectivity. Instead of jam-packing as many features as they can into a board and then cost-cutting on tooling and materials, Biostar takes a close look at what a system within their target price bracket might actually use. On the new Biostar Racing Z370GT6 that means two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, one of which has an included heatsink, a dual BIOS switch, intuitive fan control software that can be accessed from within Windows or the BIOS, and even a pair of 5050 RGB LED strip headers. With a recommended retail price of less than $140, what's not to love?



Specifications

Specifications
CPU Support:Supports 8th Generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1151)
Power Design: CPU Power: 12 phase
Memory Power: 2 phase
Chipset:Intel Z370
Integrated Graphics:Dependent on installed CPU
Memory:4x DIMM, dual channel DDR4-3866 (OC) support
BIOS:Dual AMI UEFI BIOS
Expansion Slots: 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (connectivity varies based on CPU)
3x PCIe 3.0 x1 slot
Storage: 6x SATA 6 Gb/s port
2x M.2 port (PCIe 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gb/s)
Networking:1x Intel I219-V
Rear Ports: 1x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port
1x HDMI ports
1x DVI-D
2x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
1x LAN (RJ45) port
2x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port
1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C port
2x USB 2.0 port
6x Audio jacks
Audio:Realtek ALC1220 Audio Codec
Fan Headers:5x 4-pin
Form Factor:ATX form factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.3 cm
Exclusive Features:
  • Dual BIOS
  • GT Touch
  • Vivid LED DJ
  • A.I Fan Utility
  • 5050 LED Fun Zone
  • M.2 Cooling Protection
  • Super Rapid Debug 3
  • Dual PCIe M.2 32Gb/s
  • Racing GT EVO Utility

Packaging and Contents


The front of the Biostar Racing Z370GT6 box is dominated by an eye-catching rainbow "R" and not much else other than the name. The rear of the box has a list of board features as well as a picture of the board with points of interest highlighted, and a diagram of the rear IO. I think Biostar has really nailed the balance between eye-catching graphics and concise bits of information pertaining to the board inside.


Opening the box reveals the board in an anti-static bag, with all the accessories right underneath the board. Overall, the box seems small, hardly larger than the board itself, but the board's packaging is good, which means the board is protected well.


I got a strong impression of efficiency from Biostar's overall packaging, and the included accessories reinforce that impression. Below is a list of those:
  • Manual and support DVD
  • 1x Rear I/O cover
  • 4x SATA 6Gb/s cables

Board Layout


Once I had the Biostar Racing Z370GT6 out of its bag, I noticed two things right away. First, there is no rainbow "R" anywhere on this board. Second, it doesn't need one because it has a very classy black and gold theme.


There is a fair bit of space around the socket; fitting the cooler of your choice shouldn't be an issue. Alongside the socket are the four DDR4 DIMM slots, with the first of two M.2 slots just below it.


The second M.2 is underneath a stylish heatsink Biostar includes, a feature I and my often toasty Samsung 950 Pro SSD thoroughly appreciate.


The Biostar Racing Z370GT6 has three PCIe x16 slots, the top two being metal-reinforced, as well as three PCIe x1 ports. There are six standard SATA 6 Gb/s plugs on the board's right edge, and a veritable plethora of pin headers are situated along the bottom edge. Three fan headers and no less than four USB headers are joined by the usual front panel and audio headers and an S/PDIF out.


The rear I/O on the Biostar Racing Z370GT6 is pretty spartan with only six USB type-A ports and a type-C port. Ethernet, DVI, HDMI, PS/2, and audio jacks are also present. The Ethernet is powered by an Intel I-219V chip.
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May 17th, 2022 00:11 EDT change timezone

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